Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has admitted to playing Callum Hudson-Odoi in an unfavoured role despite being aware that it’s not his position of choice.
Hudson-Odoi is more of a winger or attacking midfielder normally, but has often had to settle to dropping back into a wing-back role for Chelsea since Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard as manager back in January.
Prior to that, the England international hadn’t been a regular for the Blues, so one might expect him to be grateful to be getting more opportunities now, even if it’s not in his most comfortable position.
Tuchel seems to have admitted, however, that he knows he’s not playing Hudson-Odoi in a role he particularly enjoys, though it seems the German tactician is pleased to still have him as part of his squad.
Hudson-Odoi is a fine young talent who could surely have left Stamford Bridge for more playing time this summer, but it seems Tuchel is adamant he always wanted to have him as part of his squad.
“We cannot to let a player who is in the 18/19 man squad. He is able to play as a right wing-back, a left wing-back in the two ten positions. He knows the group, we know him very well. There was no chance to say yes on the last day,” Tuchel is quoted by football.london.
He added: “If he gets minutes, it’s never a gift. Nobody gets gifts because we take maybe sometimes hard decisions like for Callum not to let him go. He needs to deserve it. I know it’s not his favourite position but I think he can play this position and serve the team when it’s necessary. Today it was necessary and still he can do better. Still he can be more aggressive, still he needs to push himself absolutely to the limits.
“This is what he does in training. He needs to overcome this gap to fight for his place in the squad. This is life at Chelsea.”
It will be interesting to see if the 20-year-old can adapt to a change of position as it seems unlikely he’s going to get past the likes of Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic in the attacking positions.